I just love a good Bavarian cream. Remember this cake I made two years ago? Yeah. That's still one of my favorite recipes of all time. I usually make a molded white chocolate Bavarian each year at Christmastime, but I'd never considered making one during autumn months. I mean, with all the warm cinnamon rolls, pumpkin breads and apple pies, it didn't even occur to me until... until! My oven suddenly stopped working - mid-brownie baking, no less. 'Twas a sad day.
During the two weeks without an oven I revisited an idea for a crepe cake. I've been wanting to make another one for ages (see my first one here), but other recipes took precedence. So, when I found myself with no means of baking, the crepe cake idea seemed like a shiny new penny. Most of the work is done on the stove top, and that part of my kitchen was still alive and well.
First, I should tell you that this cake was one big experiment from the get-go. With no instruction, I wasn't sure if crepes and Bavarian cream even belonged together. Or if it would mold as beautifully as I'd imagined. Thankfully it did! It's just as dreamy as I'd hoped it would be, and the many-layered texture is divine!
Here's how I put it all together.
First, you'll need chocolate crepes. The recipe I provided makes a big stack of sturdy, eggy crepes. Some grocery stores sell ready-made crepes, and if you wanted to short-cut this recipe, then you could buy them instead. You'll need 12.
The Bavarian cream is simple and delicious. I added a dose of Creme de Cacao to the pumpkin spice mixture to complement the chocolate crepes. It really made a big difference in flavor!
First, you'll layer 1/2 cup of the pumpkin Bavarian in the bottom of a spring-form pan.
Spread it as evenly as possible with an off-set spatula.
Add a crepe!
Top with another 1/2 cup of pumpkin Bavarian, and spread as before. Continue this process until all the crepes are used.
Cover the last crepe with the remaining pumpkin Bavarian. This will be slightly more than 1/2 cup. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, or until completely set.
Run a small knife between the top of the pan and the Bavarian cream, then gently remove the spring-form collar. You could serve the cake on the spring-from base, but I turned it onto a cake stand, then used the small knife to gently remove the bottom of the spring-form pan. It unmolded beautifully!
I sure didn't love life without an oven, but if it had never stopped working I may have never attempted this cake. And we LOVE this cake! My honey suggested I bring it to Thanksgiving dinner this year. It tastes much like pumpkin pie, but creamier, and with a little punchy bite of chocolate. I decorated the top center with chocolate wafer rolls, but you could use chocolate shavings or curls, if you prefer.
Pumpkin Bavarian Crepe Cake
[click for printable version]
Yields one 9-inch cake
Prep: 1 hour 30 minutes
The crepe recipe makes 15 to 18 crepes, but you’ll only need 12. This gives you a little room to master your crepe-cooking technique, or, if you get perfect crepes every time, then save the extra ones for breakfast (I suggest a Nutella/whipped cream filling!).
You’ll need a 9-inch spring form pan to make this recipe. This cake needs to chill for 4 to 6 hours, so plan ahead.
6 large eggs
1 cup/280 ml whole milk
1/2 cup/120 ml heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup/95 g all purpose flour
1/4 cup/30 g unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup/30 g confectioners sugar
Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or a blender and process until well combined. The mixture will be the consistency of heavy cream.
Brush an 8 or 9 inch skillet with melted butter and place over medium heat until butter just starts to smoke. Pour scant 1/4 cup of batter into the skillet. Swirl the batter with the pan lifted over the stove eye until the bottom is coated with a thin layer of batter. Place pan on the stove eye and cook until the surface of the crepe loses most of its glossiness and the top is set. At this point, most recipes will tell you to flip the crepes; mine were cooked through without flipping, so I just slid them out of the skillet and onto a plate.
Repeat process until all crepe batter is used. If the crepes start to cook before you can get the entire bottom of the pan coated with batter, then reduce the heat to medium-low.
Allow the crepes to cool completely.
Pumpkin Spice Bavarian
24 ounces (about 2 3/4 cups) canned pumpkin puree
2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup/150 g sugar
1/3 cup/ 80 ml crème de cacao
2 envelopes/ 1/2 ounce unflavored gelatin powder
2 cups/475 ml heavy cream
Combine the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolved into the mixture (check by rubbing a bit of mixture between your thumb and forefinger – if grainy, keep cooking). Cook, stirring the mixture constantly, for 5 more minutes. Cool to room temperature (do not refrigerate).
Combine liqueur and gelatin in a heatproof cup and let stand 5 minutes. Heat in microwave for 10 seconds or until gelatin turns to liquid. You can also melt it in a saucepan on the stove top if you don’t have a microwave.
Whisk the gelatin mixture into the cooled pumpkin mixture.
Beat heavy cream in bowl until stiff peaks form, using electric mixer at high speed. Fold pumpkin mixture into the whipped cream.
2 cups whipped cream
Chocolate wafer rolls
Cinnamon for dusting
Cover the bottom of an ungreased 9 inch spring form pan with 1/2 cup pumpkin Bavarian cream. Spread evenly with an off-set spatula. Center a chocolate crepe on top of the Bavarian cream in the pan. Cover the crepe with 1/2 cup of pumpkin Bavarian, spreading it to the edges of the pan. Repeat the process until all the crepes are used; spread the remaining Bavarian cream over the surface of the last crepe evenly.
Drop the pan on the counter once or twice to settle the cream and remove air pockets. Cover and refrigerate until mixture sets, 4 to 6 hours.
Run a small knife between the Bavarian cream and the pan. Remove spring form collar. Spread 1 cup whipped cream on the sides of the cake. Pipe a decorative border of whipped cream around the edge of the cake with the remaining whipped cream, using a large star decorator tip (if desired). Dust the entire cake with cinnamon and garnish with chocolate wafer rolls.